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Showing posts with label Kindergarten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kindergarten. Show all posts
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard


4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard
What do you recommend for teaching the mouse and keyboard? This question comes up the first half of every school year, and with good reason. Not being able to efficiently use a mouse and keyboard really holds our youngest students back from being able to use devices.

They can't show us what they know because their technology literacy is usually limited to touchscreens and video games. Luckily, we can catch them up with a routine and consistent practice.

Tip #1: Start Early and Practice Often

Tip #1: Start Early and Practice Often

It is never too early to introduce children to the keyboard or mouse (I'm going to use mouse and trackpad interchangeably in this blog post). As soon as the child is beginning to identify letters, it is time. The mouse can be introduced even sooner!

You don't need fancy equipment or programs either. I recommend using old broken keyboards and mice as playroom toys for children to become accustomed to them. 

Tip #2: Use Unplugged Activities First

Tip #2: Use Unplugged Activities First

The last thing you want is the headache of running around from computer to computer fixing what inexperienced students just messed up. I learned this the hard way. It is amazing how fast a 6 year old can open 300 tabs or close out of everything you had prepared for their lesson. 

First, students need to learn the lingo for using a mouse and keyboard. We accomplish this by practicing on paper and talking about the vocabulary related to each. 

For example, a student needs to know all of these terms to use a mouse:
  • Hover
  • Click
  • Click and Drag
  • Double click
  • Right-click
  • Scroll
We can't expect a student to come to us knowing what these mean or how to do each of them. This is where Mouse Practice Mats come in. Click on either of these images to purchase the resource from my shop. 
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

Whether you use a mouse or trackpad, these unplugged printable activities will help your students learn the vocabulary and practice the skills before they ever get on a device. 

Use the work mats for a few practice sessions. They make a great station activity at the beginning of the school year. Check in with your students to see if they are understanding how to hold their hands and how to do each action with the mouse or trackpad. 

For the Keyboard, we do something similar. Students need to know all of these terms just to get started:
  • Key
  • Home row (though I don't ask them to use the home row until 2nd grade)
  • Caps Lock
  • Enter or Return
  • Delete or Backspace
  • Spacebar
  • Shift and what it does
No wonder a kindergarten student can't log in right away. There are some foreign terms to learn and there are SO many keys on a keyboard that it takes a long time to master. 

Again we start on paper with a variety of activities. 
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard
We color a printable keyboard first. There are many different ways to color code a keyboard and I'm not sure I have a favorite. I usually start with color coding rows in PreK and Kindergarten before switching to having each finger color coded separately.
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard
Here is an example of what I mean by each row is color coded. Check out the bonus section below for ideas for using this color coding to help students learn to log in. 

Here are the paper activities I use to teach the keyboard:
Typing Story Mats (in the free resource library)

4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

These photos are some of the activities in use in the classroom. They all make great station activities. Introduce them to students as a whole group and then have them rotate through the activities for how much time you have available. 
Tip #3 Use Educational Learning Games

Tip #3 Use Educational Learning Games

Once your students are ready to use the computers, it is time to practice their new skills for real! 

Here is a list of my favorite mouse practice websites:
Here's a list of my favorite beginner keyboarding websites:
If you're looking for it all to be organized for you, then I'll recommend checking out my full year Kindergarten Tech Curriculum

Or try these web based digital activities to introduce students to the keyboard:



Tip #4: Spiral Review Mouse and Keyboard Skills

Tip #4: Spiral Review Mouse and Keyboard Skills

This can't be a once and done activity. Students need consistent practice in order to use the mouse and keyboard efficiently. 

I like to make about 10 minutes per day skill review time. I give students options for what to do during the 10 minutes and just let them get to it. By consistently practicing, they continue building their skills over time. 

Bonus Tip: Logging In with Paper Practice Sheets

Bonus Tip: Logging In with Paper Practice Sheets

The goal of teaching students to use the mouse and keyboard is really that they can log in independently and access the day's activity, right?
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard
You can get this login practice page to send home with your students Free in my Resource Library by clicking on the image. 

Whatever color coding you choose for your paper keyboards, you can also color your actual keyboards the same way. I use a sharpie paint marker to make a line and a dot on each key. The paint marker lasts about half of the school year before it needs to be touched up. 
4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard
If you create login cards for students, have them color code each letter of their username and password with the corresponding color on the keyboard row. 

By sending home the login practice pages with students, they will pick it up much faster. 

Now you know how I teach the mouse and keyboard to my youngest students. Do you have any other methods that work particularly well? I'd love to hear from you!

    4 Tips for Teaching Primary Students How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard

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    Brittany Washburn
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    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year



    Do you wonder what is the best way to integrate technology in your kindergarten classroom? Do you wish your students could be more independent when you use technology in the classroom? These digital ELA activities for Kindergarten accomplish just that.

    Unit 1: Alphabet Letters and Rhyming Words

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • All 26 letters of the alphabet in a click and drag plus typing activity

    • Match uppercase and lowercase letters (plus a blank version included to make more of your own)

    • Choose the beginning letter for rhyming words based on a picture (plus a blank version included to make more of your own)

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Unit 2: Sort Objects and Count Syllables

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • Sorting Objects by color, shape, number, and other common sorting types. This is GREAT click and drag practice. Blank pages included for you to make more if you'd like.

    • Counting Syllables of words with 1-5 syllables. 10 pages with 5 words each. 

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year





    Unit 3: Opposites and Question Words

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • Match opposites by labeled pictures AND words. 2 levels of the same opposites.

    • Choose the correct question word to complete the sentence.

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Unit 4: Prepositions and Capitalization

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • Practice prepositions by clicking and dragging the preposition into the sentence to match the picture. 

    • Practice prepositions by placing objects in a scene according to directions.

    • Choose the correct capital letter to begin a sentence.

    • Read sentences and decide if the letter I is correctly capitalized.

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Unit 5:  Punctuation and Spelling

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year• Practice punctuation by sorting, clicking and dragging an end punctuation to a sentence, and typing an end punctuation for a sentence

    • Practice spelling by adding one missing letter to a word and then typing the full word

    • Practice spelling CVC words by clicking and dragging the letters needed to make the word

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Unit 6: Nouns, Verbs, and Sentences

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • Practice nouns and verbs by sorting, labeling, and typing

    • Build, expand, and identify sentences with click and drag activities

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Unit 7: Shades of Meaning and Real Life Connections

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year
    • Practice shades of meaning by finding the object that isn't like the others, sorting things into categories, and identifying synonyms

    • Find real life connections to feelings, homophones, real or not real, and categories


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year


    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    How to use Digital ELA Centers

    So in the pictures here, I opened each activity in the Slides app on my iPad and used my fingers to click and drag and type. These activities also work perfectly on Chromebooks or in PowerPoint on any PC. 

    The Google Slides™ files are provided as full sets. I highly recommend making multiple sets broken up into smaller pieces.

    For example: If you know you can get through 4 letters in one week, make a copy of the Alphabet set that has all but 4 slides deleted to share with your students.

    In the matching and rhyming set, there is a slide at the end with all of the uppercase and lowercase letters so that you can make your own slides. There is a blank slide for each style for this purpose. Just copy and paste the letters where you need them.

    If you’re using these activities at work stations, I recommend teaching students to “put back” when they are finished. They will get really good at it after practicing 2-3 times. 

    Digital ELA Activities for Kindergarten for the Full Year

    Click any of the links below to see the resource on TpT

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    Brittany Washburn
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    Kindergarten Technology Lessons and Activities

    Kindergarten Technology Lessons and Activities


    Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. Ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    After years teaching in the computer lab, I learned to not be terrified of my kindergarten classes anymore. You probably think that is silly, but 25ish students all using a desktop computer and mouse with only me as the adult in the room had me sweating every time. 

    I really struggled with coming up with lesson ideas, until I had a lightbulb moment about 5 and 6 year olds using computers. The conclusion I came to is that Kindergarten students need to become familiar with the computer while learning what they are working on in class. This means lots of mouse practice that incorporates learning letters and number sense. Problem solved!
    So, I created these Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. They are ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    Would you like to try my K-5 Technology Curriculum for 30 days to see if it is a good fit for your students? Click here and use the code TRYK5TECH1 at checkout to get the first 30 days for just $1!

    What you need in order to use these lesson plans:

    • – Students will need to log in with the class account username and password every time. You can make the credentials very easy.
    • – Laptops are ideal (PC or Chromebooks) because not all of the activities will load correctly from a tablet. I do not recommend buying this if you only have tablets.
    • – The file for the editable lesson plans and rationale pages is in PowerPoint. You can upload it into your Google Drive to open it in Slides if needed. Everything will transfer.
    • – There are a handful of YouTube videos to supplement the lessons. If you don’t have access to YouTube you can accomplish the same objective by doing a demonstration yourself.


    Each lesson or project includes:
    -a rationale page
    Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. Ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    -an editable lesson planning page
    Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. Ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    -a web page with linked prompts, directions, and activities
    Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. Ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time. Ideal for a technology teacher or a kindergarten teacher with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

    Enough to last you the entire school year! 

    Kindergarten Technology Lessons Scope and Sequence

    These are the lesson titles you will find in this resource:
    Rules and Procedures
    1.How to’s
    2.Parts of the Computer
    3.How to use the Internet
    Mouse Practice
    1.Mouse Practice 1-11 (repeat to mastery. Includes academic content with custom built learning games)
    2.Mouse and Spacebar 1-2
    Keyboard Practice
    1.Keyboard Introduction
    2.Keyboard Arrows 1-4
    3.Keyboarding 1-2
    4.Sequencing, 2 lessons
    ELA Practice
    1.Spelling Words
    2.Sight Words
    3.Typing Sight Words
    Math Practice
    1.Math Practice 1-6
    Internet Safety
    1.Internet Safety 1-5
    You can certainly go in any order you choose. The numbered lessons on the front page of the site make it easy to navigate to any lesson at any time.
    There are 2 sample pages you can check out to see how it all works. 
    1. Keyboard Arrows 2
    2. Counting and Cardinality

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Question: How does student access work?

    Answer: With your purchase you get one class account that all students use to access the lesson pages. Think of this website like a textbook but digital. The username and password’s purpose is to give students access to the textbook. Then from there you (the teacher) still facilitate student progress by letting them know which lesson page to go to and you’ll still collect their finished assignments for assessment. 

    Question: What platform will the students be using? Are they done in google drive? Like an interactive notebook?

     Answer: All of the digital content is housed on this website. The lesson plans and rationale pages are for the teacher (and administrators, right?) as PowerPoint files, and the website is set up to just click and go for the students to complete the activities. Think of the PPT files like the teacher manual and the website like the student workbook (but digital). Visit it ahead of time at k5technologycurriculum.com to get an idea how it works. You can find several free pages on the Samples dropdown menu. If/when you purchase access, you will create a class username and password to access the grade level pages included for your purchase.

    Question: Do these include Google Apps or MS Office?

    Answer: Both! Starting in 1st grade there are lessons to teach excel/sheets, word/docs, and PPT/slides.

    You can pick and choose which lessons to do with your students. If you have access to Google Apps but not to MS Office, just skip the MS Office lessons and vice versa. 

    Question: Can I attach the lessons to Google Classroom?

    Answer: No, these lessons do not integrate with Google Classroom in that way. Some teacher will choose to use Google Classroom as a way to collect student assignments in order to grade them, but students will still need to go to the website to complete the lesson. 

    Question: Do I need to buy anything additional software for my students to use this curriculum?

    Answer: No! Everything you need is included. There are optional outside subscriptions for some activities. If you want to use the lessons for digital passport from common sense media (4th grade) then you will need to make a free teacher account. There are optional “early finisher” activities like Moby Max and discovery education that could be used if you have an account but there are tons of other options if you don’t.

    Question: Do I have to buy all of the grade levels or can I just buy the one(s) I need?

    Answer: Individual grade levels can be purchased and if you decide you need more, it is easy to add additional grade levels at any time. Scroll down to see the purchase options.

    Ready to subscribe to the kindergarten curriculum for this school year? Click here to check out.

    This Kindergarten set of lessons is also part of a larger bundle of K-5 technology lessons. I made a Frequently Asked Questions blog post about it, which you might find very informative.

    I also offer a free technology teacher email course. It is 5 parts and walks you though how I do my planning and collect data.



    40+ Kindergarten technology lesson plans and activities for the entire school year that will make a great supplement to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.


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    Brittany Washburn
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    Tiggly Learning Systems Giveaway

    Tiggly Learning Systems Giveaway


    Tiggly is a learning system aimed at children ages 4-8. It gives a hands-on experience with the app and teaches concepts like letter and word recognition, shapes, and beginner math. Enter for your chance to win a bundle of 3 learning systems.

    What is Tiggly?

    Tiggly is a learning system aimed at children ages 4-8. It gives a hands-on experience with the app and teaches concepts like letter and word recognition, shapes, and beginner math. Check out this video for a better understanding of how it works. 


    Why are we giving away a Tiggly Learning System?

    This system would be perfect for a Kindergarten classroom that has tablets. Bringing more educational technology into classrooms is a passion of mine and of the whole group that is collaborating to bring you this giveaway. The winner will receive Tiggly Shapes, Tiggly Math, and Tiggly words! 

    I recommend setting this up as a learning station in the classroom. If you do station rotations during math and ELA then this could be one of them. If your students are working in pairs, just use 2 sets of headphones with a splitter so they can both hear the interactive content. The first time, go through how the app and the pieces work together. After that, the students should be able to use this independently. It is very kid-friendly. 

    Check out the information below to enter the giveaway. Please share it with colleagues and friends at your school so that they can enter, too. 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway
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    Brittany Washburn
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